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Art and architecture medieval

Today a remote land, the Limousin was in the Middle Age in the heart of influences from the north and the south and manifested its own artistic inventions. The Limousin conserves a lot of testimonies built during the Romanesque period. These truly treasures reflect in their architecture, in their sculpted decoration and in their paintings the variety of the creations of the builders centers.


The granite, the limestone, the sandstone, the breach stone from meteorite, marble or serpentine filled the knowledge of sculptors to reproduce profanes and holly themes. We invite you to really discover the specificities of the Romanesque time in Limousin and understand its diversity.

In the 19th century the historians of the Romanesque art didn’t attribute a regional school to the Limousin like they did for the other regions. Today a new approach of the heritage reveals the contrary with the abundance of many artistic creations and technical inventions proper to the different sculptors and builders centerswho created in Limousin (the diocese of Limoges in the Middle Age).



Indeed, contrary to the historians of the 19th century who were attached to defend “regional centers”, the builders in the Middle Age and their sponsor didn’t have these claims in territories which were much different of the ones we knew in the 19th century maps of France.


Every sponsor had the goal to valorize his sanctuary using the technics of their time. So we have to remove from our mind those regional schools still listed in the guides with a too restricted regional vision. In the Middle Age, the builders travelled, the researches and technical inventions were developed in different building centers in the realms. From everywhere they were influenced by architectural discoveries and the monuments of Limousin will benefit too from those researches and will endure some fashion trends. The builders and the architect masters didn’t really have geographic limits.



Church Le Dorat

Mouluration limousine et chapiteaux en serpentine

à la collégiale du Dorat

Saint-Robert Church
Abbaye Vigeois

Vigeois Church 

Paintings Gargilesse romanesque
Church Glény

We find some architectural specificities proper to some active centers in the diocese of Limoges, even if bordering buildings will have as well some similar characteristics thanks to the influences. We can talk about for example the bell tower with gables, the portal with limousine arch or the limousine “bay”…


Moreover these architectural inventions were not fixed; they progressed in the time according to the trends and the technical progress. Some architectural creations will be far from the respect of the arbitral classifications between the Romanesque and gothic times. Here there are also many examples in Limousin which allow us to reconsider the cutting of the historians of the 19th century into a better consideration of technical technics and artistic choices proper to some sculptors and builders centers.

Medieval village Curemonte

The three castles of the Curemonte village

Lagraulière romanesque church

Lagraulière Church

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